Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 has already seen a range of improvements throughout 2014, most notably bringing the videogame development engine to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles as well as adding support for the Project Morpheus virtual reality (VR) headset for the former. This week sees the engine’s next significant update, and it includes some big updates for the Oculus Rift VR headset on PC.
The highlight of the update in terms of VR is undoubtedly the added support for the Oculus Rift’s second development kit (DK2). While Unreal Engine 4 developers could already use the toolset to develop for the first development kit (DK1), they will now be able to factor in new features included in the DK2 kit such as positional tracking that allows players to have their head movements replicated in an experience.
Also included in the update is new direct rendering path and time-warping, which the developer claim will ‘significantly’ lower latency on the device. This is essential for avoiding issues such as simulator sickness, which has been a common issue with DK1. As promised, the developer will also be releasing its Couch Knights DK2 tech demo that it debuted along with the Oculus Rift DK2 at the 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC).
The update was timed to release at the same time as the first Oculus Rift DK2 units were shipped out. Of course, this hasn’t quite gone to plan given that those first units have been delayed by a week. VRFocus will continue to follow the Oculus Rift and any development news surrounding the device, reporting back with the latest updates.